2.22.2012

When School Counselors and Teachers Dash Dreams? Prove Them Wrong.

The other day my pal Kim met her son's high school counselor, which reminded her of the wonderful relationship she had with her own high school counselor. She asked if anyone on the Motherboard wanted to blog about their counselor or a teacher who was an influence... I thought about it for a moment and thought about is some more.... And then I realized I had very few memories of my high school counselor, except for one thing: She told one of my close friends that she should give up on her hopes for college and do something else.

Now, let's get something straight, I agree that the university setting is not for everyone. There are people who struggle in college and should probably be learning a trade or following a passion elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with choosing another path. But, when you want to get a degree for all of the right reasons and are willing to work hard to get there, that advice isn't exactly encouraging.

My friend is not a good test taker. Her ACT scores and grades reflected that, but she was determined to get a college education. She spent a year at community college and focused hard on getting good grades that would enable her to transfer to a university. After a year she was accepted at a university and graduated with her BA in four years, in the area of study she had wanted to focus on since high school. She was the first of my group of friends to land a job out of college and continues to be very successful. She's survived rounds of acquisitions, restructuring, lay offs, and has literally been the last woman standing. She's amazing and she's a hard worker. And she was determined to prove that counselor wrong. I'm so damn proud of her.

When Matt was in third grade he couldn't memorize the months in order. Matt had just been diagnosed with dyslexia. It wasn't that he didn't try, he tried harder than anyone else in his class, but couldn't do it. His teacher told him that he wouldn't get out of the third grade if he didn't learn the months in order. She was mean. Mean enough for Matt to still talk about it today. And he didn't memorize the months in order until high school. Imagine that... He still went to a Big Ten university for his BA and has a graduate degree from film school.

I think of what I would do if a teacher or counselor squashed my kids' dreams... When do you realize that the teacher or counselor might be correct in recommending your child consider other options - even if that means their heart will be broken? And when do you realize when they're just being mean? I think you tell them that if they want something bad enough, they have to put their head down, work hard, and prove them wrong. I know two people who did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could not agree with you more! If you want it that bad it will happen.

Thanks Lisa!

Kari